Jul 16, 2020

Virtual Panel Discussion


Local leaders discussed the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on employment, community access, and technology during a virtual panel Thursday, July 16.

The panel discussion took place on Zoom and was broadcast on Facebook Live via the Center for Independent Living Options page. Click here to watch the panel

Kevin Flynn, disability rights advocate and former Cincinnati councilman, will moderate and lead the conversation. Panelists include:

  • Paula Brehm-Heeger, director of the Cincinnati Public Library. Paula is a strong and passionate advocate for public libraries, focusing on expanding access, community and civic engagement and innovation. In 2018 she graduated from the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Leadership Action program. She’s worked in public libraries for more than 25 years, prior to returning to her hometown of Cincinnati.
  • Heidi Pettyjohn, executive director for accessibility, University of Cincinnati. Heidi provides institutional leadership and guides efforts in the sustainment of an accessible and inclusive experience for disabled students, staff, and visitors at the university. She co-created and co-chairs the Accessibility Network at UC, a cross-functional team of offices that support and enhance the university’s capacity for accessible electronic content.
  • Erin Rolfes, corporate affairs manager, Kroger. Erin is responsible for driving Kroger’s purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit; by engaging with the community and non-profit partners in Cincinnati and Dayton and generating uplift through storytelling and internal communications. Erin is responsible for driving Kroger’s purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit; by engaging with the community and non-profit partners in Cincinnati and Dayton and generating uplift through storytelling and internal communications.  Prior to joining Kroger Erin has held several key roles in professional communications including television production, agency work, and public relations

“I’m looking forward to having a robust discussion with local leaders about accessibility and inclusion,” said moderator Kevin Flynn. “The Americans with Disabilities Act has made a tremendous impact in our community, but we must also look forward to the next 30 years to ensure the rights of people with disabilities are protected as we continue our push for equality.”

This discussion is part of Disability Pride Cincinnati, a month-long celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and sponsored by a coalition of disability service providers and local government agencies.
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